Summer of Travel 2014: At Harvard

Aug 18, 2014 Cambridge, MA

While Conley Dr. gets transformed into a swan, Tim & I have been making 2014 the summer of Travel.

We've been living in the Enterprise, nearly continually, since selling the Naperville house on July 2. What's interesting is that I'm loving it. Lets face it, this is living small--our "house" is a 24 foot motorhome that rarely sees the slide used since we're not often in campgrounds or even normal motorhome spots. Tonight is a great example.

I've said for years that the coolest thing about motorhome travel is that my back yard is wherever we put that door and, right now, we've living on Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA. We spent the day hanging out enjoying the fascinating atmosphere here, starting with a visit to their impressive museum of natural history.

We got here early when parking was no problem and, being Sunday, there was no cost. As long as we're outta here by 8AM we've got a place to stay. Tomorrow morning we're going into Boston to walk Freedom Trail and do whatever else the mood moves us to. Being Monday the parking meters will be hungry so we'll be making periodic trips back to satiate their small stomachs. They can't take more than 2-hour hours worth of quarters at a time. We can park as long as we keep feeding them every two hours.

That's the plan, anyway, but we're remain flexible. If that doesn't work we'll move to plan B, not that we have one yet, but it doesn't really matter.

Airspace & Law for Ultralights

Yesterday was momentous: the video went out for replication. We were parked in a Framingham shopping center when I finished so I walked to a nearby post office to mail a pair of master copies in two different envelopes (just in case one met with calamity).

This has been my most ambitious project to date so getting it out of my hands was a big deal. I've been working so intently for so long I forgot what it was like not to constantly have it looming overhead.

I've enjoyed the snot out our travels, make no mistake, but much of it has been a blur with me working away in back while Tim captains the ship, miles slipping by, mostly unnoticed. I've been extremely focused over the last few months, moving back and forth between the various applications that made it possible. Most of the time is, not surprisingly, in the editor. Realize that something onscreen is either moving, appearing, or changing every few seconds even when it's not noticed by the viewer. With a 2+ hour running time that's an ENORMOUS undertaking!

But now it's done, really done, including the artwork for both disc and insert. After wrapping up editing there was still "authoring" to do where the DVD menuing structure is built at tested. Then getting it to fit on a disc was a chore and required using Dual Layer discs which requires a different writer. Having to press these increases media cost slightly but that pales in comparison to the amount of hours spent.

Now I can relax. For the most part. I've written a trailer and will probably record the audio at 2am when it's quite. We're still parked at Harvard and the street music has faded with the crowds melting away leaving a pretty serene setting. Poor Tim will have to endure my few minutes of recording. Setting up the recording equipment is a bit of a pain but, believe me, the quality is worth it.

Paramotor & Paragliding

We have gotten to do some flying but only a few days since leaving IL. Mostly it's been sightseeing, hiking, visiting friends and endless editing. I did do some free flying at Warren dunes and took a sled ride at Saugatuck's Dune. The day we arrived there were other pilots coming back who kept telling me how good it was earlier. Thanks guys. Sure enough, by the time I got there it was almost completely cross so I set up on a little jutting arm of sand but it was just too weak to actually soar. I still enjoyed the 15 second flight  down.

For the first time I made it to Terry Lutke's fly-in at Holland, MI. Unfortunately sucky weather kept us from actually flying there although others had gone up in previous days. It's always good to mingle.

Missing OSH & Travel Hell

Up until a few days before we didn't know whether we'd make it to Oshkosh. But after realizing that we really had no need to go back to Chicago we decided to head East. That meant missing the world's largest airshow for the first time in many years. It also meant that I couldn't do my paramotor presentation but, thankfully, Phil Adkison came to the rescue (thank you!).

It's weird not being in Naperville anymore. It's like we've been cast adrift with only a distant destination of FL. Eventually. That's cool, though, being that flexible. I've only had to go to work a few times and, let me tell you, commuting sucks. My last work event was a Checkride in Dallas while we were in Buffalo, NY. I don't have enough time to retell that little horror tale but suffice it to say that I got to stay overnight in an airport. Thanks to Delta for finally getting me back. It was all my fault, too. Note to self: flexibility isn't always the way to go--make a reservation, even if you don't use it!

A minor aside, that was my last standard 737 checkride. Next time I'll be under the new training program and should only be going to DAL once a year instead of twice a year.

That's all for now, I've got one more recording to do: the Airspace trailer.

We can now both claim having gone to Harvard. I've been here before, wandering around on an overnight for work, but it was cool coming back with Tim and the Enterprise.

1. The Enterprise behind us parked on Harvard Square.

2. Harvard's Memorial Library. When we were there 100 Asian tourists were milling about.

3. During a tour of Harvard's impressive Museum of Natural History, Tim had a silly moment while nobody else was around. That's an Alpaca. They're not common and we've got a neighbor in FL who raises and sells them so it was interesting to see one here.

2015 Jeff Goin   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!